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Ford Seeks No-Strike Pledge UAW Gave to GM, Chrysler


June 17 Ford Motor Co., the only major U.S. automaker not in bankruptcy, will ask the United Auto Workers to match the no-strike pledge given to General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Group LLC.

Ford is talking to the union about gaining the concessions, Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally told reporters today at the National Summit economic forum in Detroit. The UAW agreed not to walk out at GM or Chrysler before 2015, ceding leverage at the bargaining table.

A no-strike clause in Ford’s UAW contract is “one piece of the conversation we’re having with them,” Mulally said. “We continue to talk with them on improving our competitiveness.”

The second-biggest U.S. automaker, which won $500 million in savings under a March 9 accord with the union, is working to match labor-cost cuts of as much as twice that amount at GM and Chrysler. GM filed for bankruptcy on June 1, after Chrysler sought court protection on April 30.

Ford avoided a U.S. rescue by borrowing $23 billion in late 2006 to develop new models while weathering losses, including last year’s record $14.7 billion deficit. To secure that financing, the Dearborn, Michigan-based company put up all major assets, including its headquarters, as collateral.

Staying off federal aid is helping Ford win new customers, Mulally said.

‘Completely Different’

“We have so many more advantages from where we are. Ford is in a completely different place,” Mulally said. “People also want to know they are with a company that is viable, that will be here long term and that is on a positive track.”

Ford’s success pivots on having a healthy supplier network, a group of partsmakers that will have to shrink to survive, Mulally said.

“The supply base and the health of it is the most important thing to the entire industry,” he said. “One of the most important things is to help them get consolidated because we have this overlap. Consolidation is tough, but it’s the right thing to do.”

LINK:Ford Seeks No-Strike Pledge UAW Gave to GM, Chrysler (Update1) - Bloomberg.com
 
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